General Fiction posted December 11, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
potlatch prose

There be Dragons

by LIJ Red

The Scent has dominated my life. It has been an absentee monarch, ruling me from deep in my body and brain. Once in a while, on the wind through the openings in the Urdenurden, I get a whiff of it from lands beyond my ken. It is like blood, like the scent of my markings, like the immortal soul of dogness itself. Once a clawed-one made a smell very close to The Scent when she scratched and covered, nearly driving me mad. She wasted and died soon after.

My Good Giant lets me walk and mark the land I rule. He opens the way through the barrier, and walks with me, always watchful. I get the feeling from him that it is a brutal, pitiless world beyond the barrier. He rages out in his broken howls when I go near the home of the Urdenurdens. They go so fast, roaring and hissing, their strange feet buzzing and crying on the flat, hard surface of the Way of their kind. When I am in our old white Urdenurden, I bet we are like them, flying madly along on mysterious errands.

I digress. One day, a far faint hint of the smell came to me from the hilltop next door. There was another Giant's Hollow Mountain there, and odd alien creatures roaming the cleared area around it. My Good Giant was using the toothed stick to herd the fallen tree parts, and did not see me go. I had to answer a call, a feeling as deep as my backbone.

I crossed the rough places between the Giants' clearings, and started across the other cleared area. The Scent came from the Hollow Mountain. There was a dog there, She needed me.

My heart raced, and I hurried on, forgetting my leg and hip, the ones that never quite recovered from the impact of the small noisy Urdenurden the Bad Giant of my puppyhood had driven over me.

Out of nowhere, the dragon smashed me to the grass with its vast wings, rasping and hooting horridly. I screamed and tried to flee, ducking under a wooden Giant contraption. The dragon smote my rump and legs terrible blows that tore away my hair and skin. It had a wide, steely maw, and drove its head into my flesh like a hammer with its long, serpentine neck. I cried out in terror, over and over, and at last broke free and ran for my life. The dragon chased me into the rough spaces, and stopped.

I heard my Giant barking, "Dog? That you? What the Hell are you doing over there? Cah mere!"

He saw my bleeding wounds, and scooped me up. I lay stunned and shaking in the Urdenurden as we roared and hissed and rattled along the Way of the Urdenurdens to the Place Where They Torture Dogs. I hung in his forelimbs exhausted and aching as he carried me in.

The she-giant behind the wooden barrier asked, "Can we help you?"

"I'm LIJ Red. This is Miko. The neighbor's goose got hold of him," my Good Giant said.

Story of the Month contest entry


The potlatch challenge prompt requires a short story from an animal's Point of View.
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